9 Most Popular Types of Shepherd Dogs

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When we speak about noble dog breeds, it’s hard not to place the different shepherd dogs in the top spot. These intelligent, obedient, and highly trainable canines are great companions and family protectors. Shepherds were generally farm dogs with excellent herding instincts. They are built like athletes who are always on the move and with a great sense of responsibility.

The German Shepherd is probably the most popular one that comes into mind about shepherds. But there are different types of shepherd dogs in all shapes and sizes.

Here are 9 of the most famous types of shepherd dogs that you probably want to add to your family. Which is the king shepherd breed? That depends on which shepherd dog suits your family.

1. German Shepherd

When it comes to intelligence, courage, and loyalty, the German Shepherds are considered the best of their kind. These muscular yet graceful dogs are game for all-purpose work. A working line German Shepherd is also likely to find jobs as police tactical service dogs, bomb sniffers, or in the farm herding the flocks.

Raising a German Shepherd dog breed in the household means you should prepare for some extensive workouts. These dogs are athletic and are frustrated when idling around. They require daily walk-out and play sessions that you may need a sturdy leash and shedding hair of the Golden Retrievers.

Raising a working line German Shepherd dog breed in the household means you should prepare for some extensive workouts. The German Shepherd breed is athletic and frustrated when idling around. Both the east German shepherd and West German working line require daily walk-out and play sessions that you may need a sturdy leash and harness to keep these German Shepherd types under control.

2. Belgian Shepherd

Belgian Shepherd

The Belgian Shepherd dog breed always aims to please – like a serious guard dog. The Belgian Shepherd is one of the common shepherd dogs in Western Europe. They are very intelligent and outgoing. Thus, they need a lot of physical exercise. They are also very eager to work and enjoy pleasing their human parents to a fault.

These smart and watchful workaholics are often used as service dogs, search and rescue dogs, or guide dogs. They can reach 26 inches in height for males and 24 inches for females at most. Belgian Shepherds are muscular but not necessarily heavy-looking, conveying an aura of elegance.

Belgian Shepherds are a passionate and sensitive breed who always crave human companionship. They are suited not only for work and service but also as family protectors. They are intensely loyal, and their instincts in protecting their human family and property are notable.

3. Border Collie

Border Collie covered with snow flakes

Another intelligent type of shepherd dog is the Border Collie breed. This breed is known for its obedience and is highly domesticated. Border Collies are very affectionate, playful, and social, with extreme energy levels. They are tolerant of little children and want to treat everyone they know as their best friends.

Border Collies are herding dogs even from before. Now, they are also popular for competing in dog sports. Male Collies can reach up to 22 inches high when standing and females at 21 inches. They have coats mostly a black and white color pattern or sometimes in tricolor that are wavy and medium length.

Although they are friendly, Border Collies are quite reserved with strangers. Some herding dog handlers believe that dark-coated rough Collie is a more effective herder because they think sheep may not respect an all-white working dog. But the American Border Collie Association disputed this superstition, saying it is the agility, trainability, and intelligence that define this rough Collie’s work attitude.

4. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Closely related to the Belgian Shepherd dog, the Belgian Malinois from northwestern Belgium is one of the fearless types of Shepherd dogs. Their personality differs from their level of training and socialization, such that some are more aggressive than others. These alert and agile dogs are famous military or police service dogs and family protection dogs.

Belgian Malinois have a proud bearing and appearance where they can stand up to 26 inches tall. They resemble the German Shepherd dog but with slightly shorter beige hair and a black mask. These canines are elegant to look at and slightly intimidating with their proud stances.

Though Mals are excellent guard dogs, they may not be suitable for first-time dog owners. They are also athletic with high demand. Thus, you might need to keep them mentally stimulated. Experienced herding dog owners will love the kind of loyalty and service that these hardworking and protective dog breeds can offer.

5. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

The small, playful, and highly adaptable Shetland Sheepdog is a cousin of the Collie. These superstars in dog sports are dependable herders of the farmers off the coast of the Shetland Islands in Scotland. The Shelties, as they are fondly called, are very affectionate and make a good pet for children.

Shelties are a small working dog – about 13 to 16 inches tall – with a rugged look. They have a long double coat that is rough on the outside and a softer undercoat. The coat color may be white, black, sable, or blue merle giving Shelties their plush and ruggedly-compact appearance.

Shetland Sheepdogs are smart and are in tune with the mood in the household. They are happy when they get a fair share of attention and companionship. They can be quite a barker too. But early dog training solves their annoying behaviors since Shelties are fast learners and highly adaptive.

6. Australian Shepherd

Australian shepherd standing at roadside

The Australian Shepherd is a descendant of the Collie breed that rose into popularity in the 19th century. They came to California along with sheep imported from New Zealand and Australia and were used solely as cowboy herd dogs because of their tireless demeanor. Today, they make good house pets for dog owners who are equally active and dynamic.

Aussie Shepherds have medium-built and stand between 21 to 23 inches. They have a long, wavy double coat with unique patterns and colors, ranging from black, blue merle, red, or red merle. Red merle is a common coat color, with red as the rarest for these types of shepherd dogs to stand out from the crowd.

With their strong herding instinct and protectiveness, Aussies make a good companion dog for children. However, these high-energy dogs may need a great deal of exercise and activity to work their cowboy personality. Their strong drives are not always suitable for people living sedentary lifestyles.

7. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi standing outdoors in the fall.

When it comes to herding, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi remains popular among the types of shepherd dogs. These affectionate, smart, and alert canines are companionable but are mostly independent. They are highly adaptive and can fit with any household too.

Even if you are a novice dog owner, a Welsh Corgi can be your excellent companion. But of course, it’s only for as long as you can handle its needs for active energy and activities.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are rather small, reaching only about 12 inches in height. Yet, they are not to be taunted with! Their legs may be short but they are powerful and muscular, which allows them to handle their dynamic lifestyle. Their heads are shaped like a fox, complete with oval eyes and erect ears. They also have coat colors that range from black or tan, fawn, red, or sable.

Like most types of shepherd dogs, the PWC is a vigilant watchdog. They are also intelligent and are a bit vocal over anything.

8. Briard

Briard

Underneath the shaggy fluff of hair is an outgoing, athletic, and energetic soul of the Briard. As one of the types of shepherd breed dogs, they were popular since World War I. Mostly they fulfilled working-dog duties with jobs ranging from sentries, messengers, or medic dogs.

These large shepherds reach heights of up to 27 inches, and you can easily distinguish them by their long and wavy double coats. Their lovely coats are low-shedding. However, it can get tangled easily. Thus, Briards need frequent grooming. Briard owners often sport their coats in cutesy peek-a-boo hairdos.

Briards are not very vocal. They are independent as they are smart. Unfortunately, they can get aggressive unless trained at an early age. They also often enjoy the companionship of their owners. The best training for a Briard is raising them along with children to help them interact well even around kids.

9. Chow Chow

Chow Chow

You probably wouldn’t expect a Chow Chow in the types of shepherd dogs list. But they are, in fact, herding dogs while being popular house pets in many homes. They look like cuddly teddy bears or pandas that are tolerant of being hugged and cuddled.

Chow Chows have large heads with a lion-like ruff by their head, giving them that dignified look. Their average size is between 17 to 20 inches. They also often sport a cream, black, cinnamon, or red color. Chow Chows may look mean because they are aloof and cautious with strangers. But honestly, they are very intelligent furballs that only love the quiet companionship of the people they love.

Chow Chow is one of the excellent breeds to have around children. They are extremely watchful, faithful, protective, and serious-minded. They may adapt to apartment life but still need plenty of exercise. Chow Chows also hate being left alone to themselves.

Conclusion

Shepherd breed dogs are bright and active creatures that often bask in the freedom of the great outdoors. Their instinctive herding sense, along with their innate canine intelligence, makes them the best choice for a guard dog. Among shepherd dogs, the common denominator is their need for an extensive workout to channel their hyperactive energies.

Do none of these breeds interest you? There are plenty of other shepherd breeds to consider, like a Dutch shepherd, old English sheepdog, Bohemian shepherd, Anatolian shepherd, and more. When properly trained, shepherd dogs are faithful and watchful fur babies that match your dynamic lifestyle.

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